Disruption of the RIIβ subunit of PKA reverses the obesity syndrome of agouti lethal yellow mice

Traci A. Czyzyk, Maria A. Sikorski, Linghai Yang, G. Stanley McKnight

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Agouti lethal yellow (Ay) mice express agouti ectopically because of a genetic rearrangement at the agouti locus. The agouti peptide is a potent antagonist of the melanocortin 4 receptor (MC4R) expressed in neurons, and this leads to hyperphagia, hypoactivity, and increased fat mass. The MC4R signals through Gs and is thought to stimulate the production of cAMP and activation of downstream cAMP effector molecules such as PKA. Disruption of the RIIβ regulatory subunit gene of PKA results in release of the active catalytic subunit and an increase in basal PKA activity in cells where RIIβ is highly expressed. Because RIIβ is expressed in neurons including those in the hypothalamic nuclei where MC4R is prominent we tested the possibility that the RIIβ knockout might rescue the body weight phenotypes of the Ay mice. Disruption of the RIIβ PKA regulatory subunit gene in mice leads to a 50% reduction in white adipose tissue and resistance to diet-induced obesity and hyperglycemia. The RIIβ mutation rescued the elevated body weight, hyperphagia, and obesity of Ay mice. Partial rescue of the A y phenotypes was even observed on an RIIβ heterozygote background. These results suggest that the RIIβ gene mutation alters adiposity and locomotor activity by modifying PKA signaling pathways downstream of the agouti antagonism of MC4R in the hypothalamus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)276-281
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 8 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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